The Silver Fleet is a British World War II film released in 1943, directed by Vernon Sewell and Gordon Wellesley. The film tells the story of Jaap van Leyden (Ralph Richardson), a Dutch businessman who decides to use his yacht-building skills to aid the British war effort.
Jaap’s plan is to build a secret submarine base for the British in occupied Holland. With the help of his loyal employees, he converts his shipyard into a front for the resistance movement. They use the cover of building luxury yachts for the Germans to secretly construct a fleet of submarines for the British.
However, the Gestapo begins to suspect Jaap’s activities, and he is arrested and interrogated. But even under torture, Jaap refuses to reveal the truth about his work. Meanwhile, his wife Helene (Googie Withers) and his employees carry on his mission, risking their lives to complete the construction of the submarines and get them safely to the waiting British Navy.
In the end, the submarines are launched successfully and destroy a German battleship, earning Jaap and his team the gratitude of the British Admiralty. The film ends with Jaap receiving a knighthood for his bravery and ingenuity in the face of danger.
Vernon Sewell, Gordon Wellesley
Vernon Sewell, Gordon Wellesley, Emeric Pressburger
Ralph Richardson, Googie Withers, Esmond Knight